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The Next Generation of the Edge is Under the Sea

August 12, 2021

As the next generation of submarine cables proliferate, there’s a growing need for edge data centers that can serve as cable landing stations. Here are the details you need to know – what these edge cable landing stations are, why the demand is changing, and three solutions that can accommodate customers’ proximity requirements.

What is a cable landing station?

The term cable landing station is used to describe physical locations where one or more submarine telecommunication cables make landfall and connect to land-based power and networking infrastructure, so basically a transition point from the water-based network infrastructure to terrestrial infrastructure.

These buildings often require significant high voltage power as they are the source of transmission for all the submarine repeaters and amplifiers that boost the signal all the way from that cable landing station to the opposite termination site across the respective body of water.

In many cases this location may be remote, meaning the subsea transmission cable would then connect to one or more land-based high-capacity backhaul networks to transport the data transmissions to nearby densely populated areas for further traffic distribution.

These cable landing stations serve as gateways connecting key global markets and populations, delivering significant amounts of data across the ocean or wherever it’s needed, quickly and securely.

Subsea demand is on the rise

The continued increase in global demand for voice and data communications has been driving the need for additional subsea cables to further optimize traffic flows between various intercontinental networks.

The demand is huge – TeleGeography predicts $8 billion in new cable investments over the next three years. Why? Consider applications like streaming video, social media, websites, and other business and consumer applications that require this type of connectivity.

All this intercontinental traffic flows through networking equipment located in a cable landing station, linking together both existing major global hubs as well as emerging markets.

Over time, operators augment these capabilities in order to address capacity or technology limitations within the existing infrastructure, or create new routing options between regions. Each new submarine cable is an opportunity to assess existing cable landing locations and determine if those facilities can accommodate the additional cable and power infrastructure or if a new cable landing station is warranted.

Meeting these demands at the Edge

EdgeConneX has a full team of engineers and real estate specialists that help design and deliver best-in-class data center infrastructure, including new cable landing stations at the Edge.

We can deploy these new facilities away from traditional, established locations to enhance overall diversity, or we can strategically locate them near the new submarine cable entry point to accommodate any necessary proximity requirements.

We offer three primary options:

1.  Traditional greenfield build (new construction)

2.  Retrofit an existing shell

3.  Implement a modular solution with prefabricated and expandable units

Each of these solutions can be customized to meet individual design and engineering requirements as needed. Our goal is to enable subsea cable owners and operators to deploy the most efficient and reliable network architectures available today.

Whether it’s hyperlocal, edge cable landing stations, or hyperscale data center campuses, EdgeConneX works with you to empower your Edge with tailored digital infrastructure to best meet your needs.